See our short video about the budget for 2016/17 (opens on YouTube)
See our short video about the investment and ambitions for Withy Grove Park (opens on YouTube)
The council keeps around 13p in every pound it collects in council tax. The rest is used by Lancashire County Council, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the Lancashire Fire Authority and parish and town councils.
A proportion of the council’s funding comes in the form of a grant allocated by the government. South Ribble Borough Council has faced the largest percentage reductions faced by any council in the country over the last six years, but through forward planning and careful management, it is in a position to invest as it embraces the challenge of becoming more self-sufficient.
In the last six years, recurring budget efficiencies of more than £4.5m have been identified and achieved by the council. This has been done while protecting frontline services, which are highly valued by residents.
The council currently has 332 posts, compared with 315 last year.
Budget Report Summary
The report proposes South Ribble Borough Council’s share of Council Tax will be frozen for the sixth time in seven years, staying at £208.30 per year for a band D property in 2016/17, with another freeze planned for the year after. It means householders will not have to pay a penny extra for services from waste collection and recycling to environmental health and maintenance of our award-winning parks.
The council has an excellent track record of exceeding savings targets. A great team effort from councillors and officers means the council is in a better financial position than expected this year. Having budgeted to take 185K from reserves to balance the budget, it is instead contributing 400K to reserves, which will be invested providing opportunities to young people (see apprenticeships below). It also expects to exceed its 2015/16 savings target of £590,000.
The council is also looking at reallocating its resources, including its property assets and reserves. It will look for opportunities to improve the borough and generate income, through a new “Borough Investment Account”. While this may involve selling some assets, the main aim of the review will be to seek opportunities to invest and generate income.
What It All Means
- Freezing South Ribble Borough Council’s share of Council Tax for the sixth time in seven years, with a seventh freeze in eight years proposed for 2017/18.
- Continued parks investment plus 250K for realising Green Flag ambitions for Withy Grove Park.
- Work on the multi-million pound regeneration of Station Road in Bamber Bridge will start this summer as part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. Residents and businesses were consulted on the scheme last year.
- An investment in housing of £3m has also been proposed, which would support the provision of new homes, the upgrade of existing ones and further help for people in supported accommodation.
- My Neighbourhood forums will continue to co-ordinate funding bids and deliver the key local improvements that residents want.
- The council’s existing apprenticeship scheme will be effectively doubled, providing two-year placements on a “rolling” arrangement. The council was able to commit 100K a year for the next four years to the scheme, following a better financial performance than expected, as detailed above. The placements will be in business administration, engineering and the delivery of front-line services.
- 80K has been allocated for a 12-month pilot scheme aimed at helping people vulnerable people to secure housing tenancies, which will in turn help them to find work.
- Investments in the council’s Enterprise, Regeneration and Housing teams will support the further economic growth of the borough, along with the delivery of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.